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Tampa Bay Lightning prospects filling the holes in NHL lineup

by Chris Roberts
on
Tampa Bay Lightning prospects filling the holes in NHL lineup

Photo: Taken in the 5th round (148th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Nikita Nesterov is already looking like a draft-day steal for the Lightning. (Courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)

Like most teams hoping to contend for the Stanley Cup, the Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t had significant contributions from its young prospects, save for Vladislav Namestnikov, though the Russian center had already appeared in 47 career NHL games prior to this season. Read more »

Prospect Faceoff: Leafs’ Bracco, Dzierkals, Joshua in action, Gardiner approaches milestone, Stadium Series continues

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Faceoff: Leafs’ Bracco, Dzierkals, Joshua in action, Gardiner approaches milestone, Stadium Series continues

Photo: Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba and Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin go head-to-head this weekend in a Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN (courtesy of David Berding/Icon Sportswire and Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

This week in Prospect Faceoff, three Toronto Maple Leafs prospects are in action, with each facing stiff competition. Two of the WHL’s most consistent and well-liked players go head-to-head with the division crown still hanging in the balance, and the NHL’s Stadium Series writes a new chapter with two of the NHL’s brightest young stars facing off. Read more »

Alex Tuch and role players populate the Top 20 Minnesota Wild prospects

by Peter Prohaska
on
Alex Tuch and role players populate the Top 20 Minnesota Wild prospects

Photo: The Minnesota Wild’s 2014 first-round pick and top prospect, Alex Tuch, sets his sights on a national title for Boston College (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Wild‘s struggles this season cost head coach Mike Yeo his job, but a bigger problem than his decision-making threatens the Wild’s future success. The prospect pool lacks star quality. Though there has been plenty of trade babble, young stars and old come at premium prices. Rather than having a budding home-grown star waiting in the wings, the Wild’s recent run of below-average drafting has meant little flexibility for Chuck Fletcher, as well as an AHL team mired at the bottom of the standings.

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Professional outlook still strong for Top 20 Nashville Predators prospects

by Tony Piscotta
on
Professional outlook still strong for Top 20 Nashville Predators prospects

Photo: 2014 1st-round pick Kevin Fiala remains the Nashville Predators’ top prospect but carrying the worst plus-minus for the Milwaukee Admirals suggests he has work to do before becoming a trustworthy NHL player (courtesy of Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

The 2015-16 season has been an eventful one for the prospects in the Nashville Predators system. The top of the list remains largely intact but several players have either had breakout seasons or no longer seem to fit in the organization’s plans. Read more »

Royals’ Joe Hicketts the top NHL property among WHL defensemen

by Glen Erickson
on
Royals’ Joe Hicketts the top NHL property among WHL defensemen

Photo: Victoria Royals defenseman and Detroit Red Wings prospect Joe Hicketts served as an alternate captain for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The smallest defender lands the top ranking in this Hockey’s Future ranking of the top WHL defenders that are currently the property of NHL teams. Joe Hicketts of the Victoria Royals and a prospect of the Detroit Red Wings gets the nod as the defensive NHL property out of the WHL. Read more »

‏Maturation and evolution causing movement in Kings Spring Top 20 Prospects

by Jason Lewis
on
‏Maturation and evolution causing movement in Kings Spring Top 20 Prospects

Photo: LA Kings top prospect Adrian Kempe plays an advanced pro game despite being still just 19 years old (courtesy of Lee Calkins)

The Los Angeles Kings system remains robust in role players, grinders, and two-way defensemen. This has always seemed to be the case. However, the organization is starting to see a nice evolution from a few players within the system. When you have so few high end picks, you have to hope for the growth of the Mersch’s, the Dowd’s, and the Auger’s of the pipeline to come through for you in filling in the gaps. While some of these players are in the very nascent stages of their careers and development paths, they are starting to rise just like the development team had hoped.

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Prospect Impressions: Eichel, Gostisbehere contend for Calder, Marner magic, Leipsic’s first NHL goal

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Impressions: Eichel, Gostisbehere contend for Calder, Marner magic, Leipsic’s first NHL goal

Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Brendan Leipsic celebrates his first NHL goal in a game against the Vancouver Canucks this past weekend (courtesy of Rich Lam/Getty Images)

The Calder Trophy race is in full swing, and it appeared to be a three horse race heading into the rest of the regular season, but Shayne Gostisbehere is making a case to join Jack Eichel and others featured in this week’s Prospect Impressions. Also included is Brendan Leipsic’s first NHL goal, Joe Blandisi’s betweeen-the-legs effort, and more from Mitch Marner and a look at Jeff Lerg’s fine year in the ECHL. Read more »

2016 NHL Draft: Hitmen defender Bean leads WHL crop weighted towards forwards

by Glen Erickson
on
2016 NHL Draft: Hitmen defender Bean leads WHL crop weighted towards forwards

Photo: Calgary Hitmen defenseman Jake Bean is currently ranked fourth in scoring among WHL defensemen with 50 points in 54 games (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Back in June, the Western Hockey League saw 35 of its players selected at the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Florida. With the 2016 edition set for Buffalo, New York, scouting personnel are busy perusing the current WHL talent pool. Read more »

Prospect Faceoff: Booth faces down Audette in QMJHL action, more from the CHL, NCAA, and AHL

by David Hahn
on
Prospect Faceoff: Booth faces down Audette in QMJHL action, more from the CHL, NCAA, and AHL

Photo: 2016 prospects Dante Salituro of the Ottawa 67’s and Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires go head-to-head in OHL action this weekend with one month left in the 2015-16 season (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

In this week’s Prospect Faceoff, we take a look at Quebec Remparts goaltender Callum Booth, who has been the team’s saving grace during a rough stretch. He will be opposed by a former first overall pick, Daniel Audette, who has a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. Also in this week’s edition, one underrated forward on North Dakota is garnering attention, as are a pair of draft-eligible skaters who are in weekend competition. Read more »

2016 NHL Draft: BU’s McAvoy heads NCAA group that could be well represented in first round

by DJ Powers
on
2016 NHL Draft: BU’s McAvoy heads NCAA group that could be well represented in first round

Photo: Boston University defenseman and 2016 prospect Charlie McAvoy has won gold (U18) and bronze (U20) medals in the past year competing for Team USA in international play (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

2016 is shaping up to be a very good draft class for the NCAA. Among the current crop of draft-eligibles are three potential first round picks. Hockey Future takes a closer look at five of the NCAA’s top draft-eligible players (all freshmen), composed of three forwards and two defensemen representing three of the six NCAA conferences. Read more »

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